Cover image for Aid to Africa : so much to do, so little done
Title:
Aid to Africa : so much to do, so little done
Author:
Lancaster, Carol.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 1999.
Physical Description:
xiv, 303 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
General Note:
"A Century Foundation book."
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780226468389

9780226468396
Format :
Book

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Library
Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Status
Central Library HV640.4.A35 L36 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
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Summary

Summary

Why, despite decades of high levels of foreign aid, has development been so disappointing in most of Sub-Saharan Africa, leading to rising numbers of poor and fueling political instabilities? While not ignoring the culpability of Africans in these problems, Carol Lancaster finds that much of the responsibility is in the hands of the governments and international aid agencies that provide assistance to the region. The first examination of its kind, Aid to Africa investigates the impact of bureaucratic politics, special interest groups, and public opinion in aid-giving countries and agencies. She finds that aid agencies in Africa often misdiagnosed problems, had difficulty designing appropriate programs that addressed the local political environment, and failed to coordinate their efforts effectively.

This balanced but tough-minded analysis does not reject the potential usefulness of foreign aid but does offer recommendations for fundamental changes in how governments and multilateral aid agencies can operate more effectively.


Summary

Why, despite decades of high levels of foreign aid, has development been so disappointing in most of Sub-Saharan Africa, leading to rising numbers of poor and fueling political instabilities? While not ignoring the culpability of Africans in these problems, Carol Lancaster finds that much of the responsibility is in the hands of the governments and international aid agencies that provide assistance to the region. The first examination of its kind, Aid to Africa investigates the impact of bureaucratic politics, special interest groups, and public opinion in aid-giving countries and agencies. She finds that aid agencies in Africa often misdiagnosed problems, had difficulty designing appropriate programs that addressed the local political environment, and failed to coordinate their efforts effectively.

This balanced but tough-minded analysis does not reject the potential usefulness of foreign aid but does offer recommendations for fundamental changes in how governments and multilateral aid agencies can operate more effectively.


Author Notes

Carol Lancaster, Visiting Fellow (1987-91; 1996-98; & 2000), was deputy administrator at the US Agency for International Development. She is currently Assistant Professor at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service & was previously Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs (1980-81). She is the author of African Economic Reform: The External Dimension (1991) & other works. (Bowker Author Biography)


Carol Lancaster, Visiting Fellow (1987-91; 1996-98; & 2000), was deputy administrator at the US Agency for International Development. She is currently Assistant Professor at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service & was previously Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs (1980-81). She is the author of African Economic Reform: The External Dimension (1991) & other works. (Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Foreign aid may be the only item in the federal budget less popular (and less understood) than welfare, yet the memory of effective programs, such as the postwar Marshall Plan, suggests that richer countries can provide aid in a way that genuinely helps the citizens of poorer nations. Lancaster, a former deputy administrator of USAID, compares the efforts of six donor countries (the U.S., Britain, France, Japan, Sweden, and Italy) and two multilateral donors (the World Bank and the European Union) in Africa, where foreign aid constitutes the largest percentage of GNP but development successes have been rare. Recognizing institutional, political, and cultural problems in recipient nations, Lancaster still assesses a greater dose of responsibility to the donors, which allocate much aid for diplomatic or commercial (not development) purposes and frequently lack the capacity to undertake the kinds of complex interventions they've authorized. She recommends joint donor missions that shift project planning to African governments and civic organizations and respond flexibly to developing societies' changing needs. --Mary Carroll


Booklist Review

Foreign aid may be the only item in the federal budget less popular (and less understood) than welfare, yet the memory of effective programs, such as the postwar Marshall Plan, suggests that richer countries can provide aid in a way that genuinely helps the citizens of poorer nations. Lancaster, a former deputy administrator of USAID, compares the efforts of six donor countries (the U.S., Britain, France, Japan, Sweden, and Italy) and two multilateral donors (the World Bank and the European Union) in Africa, where foreign aid constitutes the largest percentage of GNP but development successes have been rare. Recognizing institutional, political, and cultural problems in recipient nations, Lancaster still assesses a greater dose of responsibility to the donors, which allocate much aid for diplomatic or commercial (not development) purposes and frequently lack the capacity to undertake the kinds of complex interventions they've authorized. She recommends joint donor missions that shift project planning to African governments and civic organizations and respond flexibly to developing societies' changing needs. --Mary Carroll


Table of Contents

ForewordRichard C. Leone
Acknowledgements
1 Introduction
2 Africa--So Little Development?
3 Aid and Development in Africa
4 Foreign Aid: The Donors
5 The United States
6 France and Britain
7 Sweden, Italy, Japan
8 The Multilaterals
9 Findings
Notes
Bibliography
Index
ForewordRichard C. Leone
Acknowledgements
1 Introduction
2 Africa--So Little Development?
3 Aid and Development in Africa
4 Foreign Aid: The Donors
5 The United States
6 France and Britain
7 Sweden, Italy, Japan
8 The Multilaterals
9 Findings
Notes
Bibliography
Index

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